View Full Version : A persisting old problem

Alexander Karatis
12-28-2003, 04:54 AM
Well guys, I don't know how relevant or how pleasant to our nutrition area my current thread is, but since we've talked about it before, here goes...

Remember my post about a "digestive" problem I had a while back? Just to keep you current it was about getting severe diarrhea about once a week at odd times.

At the time the consensus was pretty much that I had probably caught giardia, or some other parasite. Well, I did a blood test and sent my doctor a specimen to examine, and he came back a few days later saying there's nothing wrong with me.

Now the problem has persisted, and I'm thinking it's something else. I don't know why diarrhea usually occurs but I tried to rationalise it and came at the following conclusion.

During all this time I have been fairly constipated. I mean I try quite often but the results are miniscule. The time that I break into a cold sweat and go running for the bathroom because i know what's coming, is probably the point of my intestine's maximum tolerance (It has happenned while sitting at the table eating)...My logic sais that they can't hold all that waste anymore and since I can't get rid of it the normal way, my body "helps" me by turning it into diarrhea.

I have never been one to have an easy or short time in the bathroom, but if this is because of constipation, then I gotta find a way to stop the constipation...And I somehow dread that the conclusion will be "go easy on the meat"...

Sorry for the unpleasant ambience of the thread but you guys know how hard it will be to try to explain to a conventional doctor why all that meat is really good for me!

Now on a lighter note, if we call the other guy "Pukie", what should we call this clown next time he visits?!!


Robert Wolf
12-28-2003, 11:19 AM

It seems like "Poopy" is the logical choice for a name!

Try this: 1Tbs. of psylium husk in the morning and evining. Psyliym is a fiber which expands quite a lot (drink at least 100-200ml water with it).
Normal bowel function can be dependant upon peristalsis which is triggered by stool volume. I am guessing you are getting quite a bit of fiber from fruits and veggies but perhaps it is not enough.

Keep us posted!

David Wood
12-28-2003, 04:46 PM

Is there any possible connection (in timing) with caffiene consumption? (I don't remember if you enjoy coffee or not.)

The stimulus of caffiene (in fact, just the stimulus of a hot liquid in the gut) can produce a LOT of peristalsis . . .

Jay Edvardz
12-28-2003, 05:01 PM
I tend to have some real "bowel problems," when I drink coffee....


Michael Hill
12-28-2003, 05:39 PM

Constipation is often a symptom of intestinal bacteria imbalance. However instead of suggesting a traditional probiotic formula, I would highly recommend a product called "Primal Defense". You can find more information about this product at www.gardenoflifeusa.com (http://www.gardenoflifeusa.com)
I personally use this product and I believe it is without question unrivaled. It is a probiotic, but instead of being traditional bifidus or other lacto strains, these are soil organisms that are missing from our modern diet because we have depleted the soil and never ingest or touch the earth literally.

On a more general note I stongly suggest that you check out Jordan Rubin's book "Restoring your digestive health". It is really unique and focuses on a primitive diet that many here follow. However, it really explains the different foods and the importance of quality (ie grass fed and organic animals vs conventional). etc. It is very informative and has personally changed my life. I know that sounds kind of cheesy, but it is true, if you want to know more let me know and I'll be happy to more fully explain. Anyway, the author is the president of the garden of life company I wrote about above.

One last suggestion is that you can even get the book for free. If you google the primal defense there are a few sites that give the book away with a minimum purchase; I don't remember the details right now however. I really suggest you check it out.

Robert Wolf
12-28-2003, 06:21 PM

Great suggestions! Welcome to CrossFit.

Sean Harrison
12-28-2003, 10:17 PM
What do you eat? I seem to remember you posting before and I remember thinking you ate far too little carbs and a lot of olive oil. Am I correct?
If so let me be the first and only to tell you to eat some whole-wheat bread.

Alexander Karatis
12-29-2003, 01:59 PM
Thanks for all the responses guys.

Rob, "Poopy" wasn't exactly what came to mind but it'll do just fine!:wink:

I did buy a bottle of Psylium so I'll give that a try and see how it goes!

Michael, that URL is full of wealth! Thanks a lot for that!

Sean, an average everyday diet would consist of 6 eggs, around 1.5 kg of meat or fish(a lot of variety here), two cans of tuna, some slices of turkey breast, a bowl of spinach or lettuce, two tomatoes, and other fruits and veggies like a carrot, an apple, an orange, strawberries, blueberries, grapes... (All these usually blended with their skin in a nice juice)

In addition to that some almonds, sunflower seeds, maybe some sesame with my meat, and tons of olive oil with my meats and salads.

I can't say I eat too little carbs. I just usually prefer my dinner meal to be a large meal serving. (Almost any meat I eat and its cooking style features olive oil)...

About the bread, don't want to sound like a prick who doesn't take advice, but I doubt its fibrous qualities are better than any of the fruits and veggies I eat in order for me to accept the insulin spike.

Alexander Karatis
12-29-2003, 02:10 PM
David, I DO enjoy my espressos, and I have learned to LOVE coffee the way it's meant to be drank. Black.

(Used to put a ton of sugar in, so first I cut out cofee completely, then I tried all the different sweeteners, until finally coming to the conclusion that it's silly to have all this good grassfed meat and organic food at my plate but still put an artificial sweetener in my capuccino cup-my double espressos need a larger cup) End of my cofee-history relationship.

No, the coffee doesn't directly produce the problem. Although I would think that it should ease off the constipation a little bit.

Robert Wolf
12-29-2003, 08:09 PM
Wheat! Good stuff!


Kevin Roddy
12-29-2003, 08:30 PM
Even if I wasn't Paleo'ing, I would still think whole wheat bread tastes like ***. I would rather eat another apple or something like that for carbs.

12-29-2003, 09:05 PM
I have had a similar problem, although it went away when I took a month off from caring about by body when Thanksgiving and exam time rolled around. What follows here is some speculation on what i've read in the past day or two(Barry Sear's Omega Rx Zone, and I read the parts of Mastering the Zone that I was interested in while in the book store). I also don't know as much as alot of the people here, so I'd go with their advice over mine, but use this as food for thought.

When I have had digestive problems over the past semester, it was when I was "re-entering" or adapting to eating paleo either for the first time or after a longish break. I would get pretty bad constipation followed by periodic diarrhea like you are describing. During my one period of being really good about diet for over a month straight(taking fish oil religiously too) I didn't have the problem, or don't remember it being pronounced.

When losing fat, arachidonic acid is released from the stored fat, causing constipation in many people(according to Dr. Sears in Mastering the Zone). I don't know if you are right about your body reacting to the constipation with diarrhea, but it sounds right, since my body did the same thing. For your case, all that meat+eggs( I consume alot of meat as well) contains alot of arachidonic acid(maybe grassfed has less, I don't know the specifics). So we both are both pretty good candidates for having elevated arachidonic acid levels, and we both got the same symptoms. So maybe imbalances related to that acid are to blame, evidently its a pretty powerful thing in your body. If it is, putting some more omega-3's into your diet could be a smart choice, since they counteract it. I'm trying it(along with upping fiber+water intake) to see how it works. Hopefully my body will get back to equilibrium after a week or two of being back on the paleo bandwagon. Your problem is a bit more troubling, since you have kept a consistent diet. More omega-3s may seriously help you, though(or replacing some eggs/red meat with chicken or turkey to lower the arachidonic acid).

I hope I made sense here. If my information is off, somebody please let me know.

Barry Cooper
12-30-2003, 06:55 AM

Since this is an ongoing problem, I think it would be worth at least experimenting going outside the pure Paleo "box", like Sean said. I eat toast probably every other day, and whenever I go out with the guys I work with I eat burritos, or some sort of Asian dish with rice.

My experience has been that using solely fruit and vegetables for carbs causes me to get, well, the runs, like you are describing. As it is, I go like clockwork twice a day. I do drink a fair amount of coffee as well, although I mix it with black and green tea, as well as my newest addition, peppermint tea.

Keep trying things until something works. There are plenty of people around who don't have that problem. To add a bit of urgency, imagine if that happens on a date. . .

Scott Kustes
12-31-2003, 05:12 AM
Oh yeah, what Barry said....it sucks. I was on a date and the runs hit. It was the day after I added flax seeds to my diet and I think I added too much too quickly. I must've went 4 times in the 3 or 4 hours we were together and I had some ferocious gas. T'was not a pleasant experience.

I've cut back on the flax seeds and added more fruits and veggies, and like Barry, I am pretty much a regular twice a day. My only other major source of carbs is my bowl of oatmeal in the morning and the honey that goes in it. A friend of mine did Atkins and ended up not "going" for a week, at which time he had such severe stomach cramps that he couldn't even enjoy his beer and tailgating (needless to say, that made him drop the diet). I've heard that extremely restricted carbs can have a constipating effect, so maybe try finding a way to add a bit more back in.

For the sake of the ladies, please take care of it. :biggrin:

Alexander Karatis
12-31-2003, 10:31 AM
Well, thankfully it hasn't hapenned yet while on a date, I can't even think of how much I'd have to suck it up until I was out of sight and racing toward a bathroom!

It did happen at work once and I made the 15 minute car-trip back to my house, a flat 6!

Wells, that is some really interesting stuff! I keep telling myself that I have to remember to get that book at last!

My carb and fiber supply is more than adequate. My salad bowls are huge, and now,with the psylium husk that Rob reccomended there's no excuse for my intestines to start putting out! (no pun intended)

Justin Arnest
01-06-2004, 09:10 AM
Ginger root is good for balancing digestion, a little bit goes along way. You could smash it in juice or just eat a little.
A natural yogurt with active cultures maybe, too.
Good luck.